Virgin moneys underlying pretax profit jumps 53 percent

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British lender Virgin Money Holdings Plc (VM. L) said its full-year underlying pretax profit rose 53 percent, helped by growth in its core mortgages, savings and credit card businesses which outpaced the market. Shares in the FTSE 250 Midcap . FTMC company, which rose as much as 10.51 percent on Wednesday, were up 7.23 percent at 364.5 pence at 1013 GMT (05:13 a.m. EST). The bank, which listed on London's main market in 2014, said it would increase credit card balances to at least 3 billion pounds ($4 billion) by the end of 2017, a year earlier than it anticipated. Credit card balances rose 44 percent to 1.6 billion pounds during 2015. Underlying pretax profit rose to 160.3 million pounds for the year ended Dec. 31 from 104.8 million pounds a year earlier."After a miserable FTSE100 bank results season in which every large bank missed market expectations, here come the UK "challenger banks"! Today's Virgin Money results (once again) represent material outperformance vs consensus expectations," Investec analyst Ian Gordon wrote in a note. Virgin Money, which is one of the bigger "challenger" banks in Britain, said gross mortgage lending rose 29 percent to 7.5 billion pounds in the year. The British housing market had been buoyant in 2015.

The bank recommended a final dividend of 3.1 pence per share, taking the total for the year to 4.5 pence per share. Virgin Money said it was aware of the risks related to the impending UK referendum on EU membership, the uncertain outlook on interest rates, and the recent market turbulence caused by the slowdown in emerging markets and falling commodity prices. Britain will hold a referendum on its EU membership on June 23 and the possibility of "Brexit" has kept the sterling near a seven-year low against the dollar.

PRICE OF BREXIT Chief Executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia said the bank was aligned with UK economy and if Britain was to stay in or exit the EU, Virgin Money would perform based on the impact a potential Brexit would have on the UK economy as a whole.

Gadhia, the first female CEO of a listed British bank, added that if there was to be a "Brexit", the issue would be the likelihood of increased prices in consumer finance, mortgages and credit, and therefore financial products because of the uncertainty in the market and the potential impact on sterling."I would see that prices would probably increase and we would follow the market in pricing accordingly." Gadhia said.; var median = (relatedItemsTotal / 2); var $relatedContentGroupOne = $(' ul'); var $relatedContentGroupTwo = $(' ul'); $.each($relatedItems, function(k,v) { if (k + 1 = median) { $relatedContentGroupOne.append($relatedItems[k]); } else { $relatedContentGroupTwo.append($relatedItems[k]); } }); } else { $('.third-article-divide').append($('div class="related-content group-one"h3 class="related-content-title"SEE ALSO/h3ul/ul/div')); $('.related-content ul').append($relatedItems); } },500); } Up Next Britain's Next chills clothing sector with cut to profit forecast LONDON Next cut its profit forecast for the current financial year after a poor Christmas and warned of a further decline in 2017-18, sending shockwaves through Britain's clothing sector as the most successful performer of the last decade faltered. Credit Suisse, AstraZeneca among top BofA-ML's top European picks for first quarter LONDON Credit Suisse and AstraZeneca are among Bank of America-Merrill Lynch's top picks for the first quarter of 2017, as the market is overly pessimistic on both stocks, according to analysts at the bank. Tesla posts 9.4 percent fall in quarterly deliveries Tesla Motors Inc said on Tuesday fourth-quarter deliveries fell 9.4 percent due to short-term production hurdles from the transition to a new autopilot hardware. MORE FROM REUTERS window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'organic-thumbnails-a', container: 'taboola-recirc', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails - Organic', target_type: 'mix' }); Sponsored Content @media(max-this site) { #mod-bizdev-dianomi{ height: 320px; } } From Around the Web Promoted by Taboola window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push( { mode: 'thumbnails-3X2', container: 'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix' } ); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push